• Spain's news in English

'Gracias España': Syrian tripped up by camerawoman arrives in Madrid

Jessica Jones · 17 Sep 2015, 10:31

Published: 17 Sep 2015 10:31 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Osama Abdul Mohsen hit the headlines around the world when he and his son were tripped over by Hungarian camerawoman Petra Lazlo while they were trying to flee across the border from Serbia to Hungary.

While Lazlo lost her job following the incident, Mohsen and his son came to the attention of Miguel Ángel Galán, president of Spain’s Football Coach Training Centre (Cenafe), who, upon learning that Mohsen had been a football coach in Syria, offered him accommodation and a job with Cenafe in Getafe, just south of Madrid. 

The Syrian father and son arrived in Madrid on Wednesday night to applause from well-wishers after travelling by train from Munich.

"Thank you, thank you," Mohsen repeated as he left Atocha train station in Madrid with his two sons. 

"I feel like I fly in the sky when I see you," he said.

"We are very, very happy, but I am also worried for my wife and other children," Mohsen added. 

"They have been in Turkey for two weeks but I hope that soon they can come and be with us."

Cenafe has said it will try to bring Mohsen’s wife and two other children to Spain from Turkey, where they are currently in the town of Mersin, close to the Syrian border.

Mohsen was tortured by the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and eventually decided to flee the country as Isis moved closer and closer towards his town, according to El País. 

"I escaped Syria because of the war: Assad’s troops were attacking us and Isis was a threat," he said. 

In Munich, Mohsen managed to find another of his sons, Mohammed Al Ghadabe, 18, who had fled Syria before his father and brother.

The three made their way to Madrid on Wednesday accompanied by a Cenafe student, Mohamed Labrouzi, who flew to Germany to bring the family to Spain and act as an interpreter. 

While much of Spain has welcomed the arrival of Mohsen and his family, the country’s Interior Minister on Thursday warned that this was a one-off case and should not "be applied indiscriminately". 

Story continues below…

George Fernández Díaz, speaking on Spain’s National Radio warned that people could not "start bringing refugees to Spain outside the proper procedure".

"Asylum is the responsibility of the state," he said, "and refugees should go through the proper procedures according to the European Commission."

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jessica Jones (jessica.jones@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Clock ticking as Spain races to avoid third elections
Third elections could now be avoided. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists voted on Sunday to allow the conservatives to take power, likely averting a third election for Spaniards tired of going to the polls.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available